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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

ATTRACTING BIRDS INTO YOUR GARDEN

ATTRACTING BIRDS INTO YOUR GARDEN


For bird-watching enthusiasts who want to attract a greater variety of songbirds to their backyards.

Moving water attracts more song birds to your yard  


Moving water is the purest and most attractive source of water to birds.  Free form bird ponds are the most natural and effective bird baths, because in nature, water is found at ground level.  More birds will use a ground level bird bath especially when enhanced with visible movements in the water.
Dripping water is very attractive to birds because the ripples created in a bird bath can be seen by birds from a great distance.  The sight of ripples created by dripping water will also attract a wide variety of songbirds from nearby trees to the bath.  Many birds like to perch on a dripper tube and drink directly from the end of the tube.
Misters spray a fine cloud of water that many birds, such as Humming birds, find irresistible.  Many birds will take leaf baths in preference to bathing in a birdbath.  Leaf bathing is when birds rub up against wet foliage.  Feather misters can be attached to a small tree or shrub with the nozzle directed at some easily viewed foliage to attract song birds.
Moving water is an important aspect that is why our bird ponds and baths come with a pump, dripper, mister or a combination of the three. 


Placement and maintenance of your bird bath

A good location for your bird bath should meet as many of the following criteria as possible:
  1. Area already frequently by birds.  Often this is near a bird feeder, but do not position the bird bath too close to the feeder as seeds and hulls will fall into the bath.
  2. Easily viewed from a location where you frequently sit to watch birds.  A good distance away from your house or porch is about 20-40 feet.
  3. To the east or north of your observation point.  This will put the sun at your back for afternoon viewing.
  4. Near trees and shrubs for cover and under a small tree.
  5. Relatively level area (this makes installation easier).
  6. Avoid dense ground cover which can hide a cat.
It is preferable to operate a dripper on a daily basis because this provides the birds with a dependable supply of cool fresh water and also keeps the bird bath full.  A battery operated water timer is very helpful in establishing a regular on-off schedule which the birds become accustomed to, and which consrves water.  Water timers can be purchased from most local garden centers, hardware stores or discount stores.  With a timer, we often observe the birds gathering around the bath about 15 minutes before the timer is scheduled to come on.  Mid to late afternoon seems to be a favorite bathing time.
We recommend that you empty, rinse and refill the bath at least weekly or more often when it is used frequently.  You can use a garden hose to flush out the dirty water without having to lift the bath.
Algae growth can be minimized by locating the bath in at least some shade.  If algae grows on the bath it can usually be removed with a jet of water from a garden hose.  Stubborn algae can also be removed with diluted bleach.  Add 1/4 cup of household bleach to a full bath, stir with a stick, let sit 5 minutes and then pour out on the ground away from any plants.  Rinse thoroughly and refill the bath.
Most outdoor faucets are designed to drain when nothing is connected to them to prevent freeze damage during the winter.  We also recommend you bring dripper tubes and needle valves inside.  Run fresh water through the tubing before reconnecting the needle valve.  Most bird baths can be used with any bird bath de-icer, we recommend that you store the bath inside until spring.  Repeated freeze-thaw cycles can eventually initiate cracks.



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